Sustainable Building

Learn how to save time, money, and waste by building green.

Latest Articles On Sustainable Building

In-depth advice and info on building in an eco-friendly way

Private pools at each cottage​

Each cottage at Underhill has its own private plunge pool next to the entertainment area, perfect for cooling off on those hot summer days. The plunge pool at Hobbit Hollow is a rock pool in the famous Botrivier flowing right past the braai and entertainment area. The plunge pool at

Read More »
Up-cycled tires into steps

Week 2 2020-crashed the tractor

Created new steps across the river – My neighbors have a large pile of used car tires they are not using and have turned some of them into steps – They last for ever, and give a spring to your step! Recycling trees – The one river bank has oak

Read More »
recycled scrap wood to be used for decking

Where to find recycled materials for your projects

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start finding second-hand materials for recycled building projects. Nowadays there are a growing number of shops and picking yards springing up where you can browse through recyled lumber, finishings, and antiques.  These are a great place to start but you can

Read More »
cottage roof made from recycled coffee sacks and timber from the farm

How to build a living roof from recycled material

When building my latest cottage that I live in I was quoted $7,000 for the roof by a supplier (which is incidentally what it eventually cost me for the entire cottage – see my article on my $7,000 home). So I decided to do it myself. The idea was to

Read More »

The oak and vine earthship

Some like minded friends and fellow enthusiasts on earth ships have decided to build an earth ship on the farm. It will be dug into the slope of the land and face north with lots of windows for the winter sun, and be shaded by the poplar forest in summer.

Read More »

Building Hobbit Hollow

After nearly 7 months of hard work Hobbit Hollow is complete. Our original idea to construct a Hobbit inspired riverside cottage has become a reality! Although it came with some interesting engineering challenges and many hours of hard work. With the exception of concrete for the foundation and some lumber

Read More »

Underhill Cottage Has It’s Own Pool

Just in time for summer, Underhill cottage now has its own pool built with sandstone from the neighbouring farms, and old broken tiles left over from a previous build to ensure sustainability and reusability. In addion building the pool half out the ground reduces how much soil needs to be

Read More »

New location cleared for the next cottage: Willow Cottage

The ground has been cleared for the next cottage – Willow Cottage at the far end of the farm, close to where the two streams come together. the view from the stream looking up to where the cottage will be built. Alien trees have been uprooted (Port Jackson and black

Read More »